- Constitution & Principle
- America was founded on liberal principles;
- The Constitution reflects the unifying ideas liberalism;
- People emigrated here to flee from centuries of religious and conservative oppression;
- Socialism is the philosophy OF, BY, and FOR the people; capitalism is the philosophy of OUTSOURCE, BUY, and FORGET the people;
- By virtue of its military budget, monetary tax outlays for the security of the USA is the largest socialist expenditure in the history of history;
- Nations who lean towards the left and towards democratic socialism have the highest standards of living on Earth;
- American forms of conservatism, Republicanism, and unregulated capitalism serve 10% of the people at the expense of 90% of the people;
- Conservatives are more likely to be uneducated, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, superstitious, religiously deluded, and in poor mental and physical health;
- Religious extremism practiced by patriarchal fanatics like the Taliban and the KKK has its origins in conservatism;
- Fascism is a product of Nationalism and Right Wing thinking—their father: fundamental conservatism.
- Why I Vote
I vote because it is a privilege and an obligation to vote. This election has an urgency to it that cannot be ignored. Massachusetts shines as a state because the Democratic Party, despite its flaws, has not abandoned the public good. Nationally, both parties are beholden to special interests, but the GOP has forsaken its obligation to serve the public good and, instead, is subservient to special interests. Its bedrock policies cater to oligarchical notions of commerce, radical religious extremism and fear mongering, anti-climate, homophobic, racist, and sexist ideology, commercially exploitive foreign intervention, false wars, and wasteful military expenditures. It promotes privatization at the expense of health care and public education, and cannot be counted on to reform the corruption at the heart of its conservative endeavors. I voted because I believe in democracy; I voted because I believe today’s Republican Party does not. Thank you for this chance to voice my hopes and concerns.
- If I Were President
There’s a temptation to continue to obsess about the ying and yang of the “Mueller Report,” and for good reason: It reveals the inner corrosion of the most corrupt administration in our nation’s history. We should obsess about the damage the Trump crime family and his swamp creatures are doing to America.
In the meantime what are not paying attention to? I see little discussion about what influences all other discussions, and that’s election reforms. Specifically:
- Repeal Citizens United
- Restore The Fairness Doctrine
- Reform the Electoral College
- Regulate Gerrymandering
- Improve voter access
- Expand voting rights
- Free voter ID’s for those who register
- National Holiday for General Elections
- Mandatory voting with tax penalties for those who don’t vote
- Refine cyber v. paper balloting.
- Repeal the Filibuster
- Disallow budget pork inserts in legislation that had no bearing on those inserts
- Consider the proportionality of Senate (Two senators each: Wyoming (pop. 700,000) v. California (pop. 60 million)
- No lifetime appt to anything
- Public servants have same health care as citizens
- Mandatory voting. Fail to do so forfeits tax deductions
- Forbid private sector lobbying; limit public good lobbying
- Enforce McCain-Feingold
- Restore Glass-Stiegel
- Enforce monopoly laws
- Rewrite 2nd Amendment for clarity
- Deny corporations corporate due process unless persons in charge take legal responsibility
- Restore higher tax rates for the wealthy, criminalize off shore tax havens, reform Wall Street
- Subsidize education of citizens who go into public service (health care, education, safety and security). Forgive college loans for those who educated themselves for and currently work in these public service.
- Eliminate interest rates on government education loans
- Give x amount of tax credits over a pro-rated period of time for those who have paid their college loans.
- Create an investment fund for those who paid their own loans and have children going to college.
- From here on in anyone who is getting an education that serves the public good and advances the common welfare of society (teachers, nurses, doctors, devoted public pro-bono attorneys, family and child social and psych specialists) has their tuition waved for at least x amount of years of public good service.
All other issues are determined by the outcomes that elect those who represent us. If it is truly a Republic, then it should behave like one that strives for democracy.
- Free Speech
The cry for civility in political discourse sounds like a good idea, but what fruit will it bear? Are the comfortable, the powerful, those who have the most to lose through an escalating incivility–will they invite the “uncivil” to the table for civil discourse? I don’t think so.
The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the fight for civil rights and equal rights, the protests against the Vietnam War, to name just several, were hardly civil, and could not be otherwise, knowing how much pain and horror were afflicted by the powerful on the powerless.
When celebrities and athletes and true public servants protest with restraint and rhetoric, instead of guns and violence, the comfortable should be thankful instead of dreading the possibility of two way discourse.
Nothing comes from division when one side is stolid and monolithic in it’s convictions that it is right, while the other is scrambling for pieces of architecture that will make sturdy its stand for a voice and a fair hearing and justice.
I think it was civil rights activist Bobby Seale who said, “If we can’t sit at the table, we’ll cut its fucking legs off.”
The Colonies cut the legs off the British, Abolitionist armies cut the legs off the racist Confederacy, people and students cut the legs out from under the Vietnam War, and Suffragettes cut the legs of the Patriarchy.
This is not the time to be polite, to pursue the preferred Pollyanna milk toast politesse of the comfortable. Incivility may have its price, but the payout may yield the kinds of change that reveals the empirical truths of America that we have become too afraid to debate. Civility born of fear will make cowards of us all and bystanders to something worse.
- The Unifying Power of Stupidity
The collapse of the rule of law in regard to those privileged enough to game the justice system, the election of manifestly incompetent executive and legislative representatives who do not honor oaths and requirements of their elected positions, the botched political response to Covid 19 which has led to 4,000 deaths per day, the treasonous desecration of the Capitol and the deaths of those caught up in the hysteria fueled by a corrupt president and the lies of right wing extremist organizations and voices—all these things and more are effects and need to be traced to their causes. One in particular, if it is even possible to narrow it down to one—is the mental fitness of too many Americans who cannot tell the difference between the truth and the lie. The lack of critical thinking skills, the absence of thoughtful contemplation regarding information that is obvious to some, debatable to others, but fantasy for far too many ironically unifies us as an ignorant people.
- Thank You, the Donald
While Donald Trump fails entirely as a human being in every aspect of what entails a human being, his presidency, if one can call it that, points out several fault lines in our republic and its claim to democracy:
- Our Constitution has no viable remedy to remove a man so inept, corrupt, and indecent. The 25th Amendment is easily hollowed out by party fealty to the executive branch.
- There seems to be no enforcement of The Emoluments Clause, prohibiting an elected official and those appointed by this official from profiting from his/her office.
- The legal statute that prevents a sitting President from being indicted gives license to subversion and corruption. The memo is not in the Constitution and should be excised from executive power privilege.
- The power of the President to pardon is too broadly used and perniciously so, as evidenced by Trump’s excessive use of this power.
- The writ of executive orders /signing statements is executive overreach.
- That any politician can spend the majority of his time in office perpetually campaigning means he/she is not performing the duties of that office.
Trump is a fraud and a criminal con man, but he had done us a favor by highlighting potential abuses by actualizing these abuses.
- Censorship of Offensive Icons
Censorship of any kind is an indicator of revisionist thinking, which is a dangerous form of historical denial. This denial handicaps discussion and eliminates context.
Once as a teacher, I was called a racist by a parent for teaching John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” which considers the plight and suffering of a Black character named ‘Crooks’. His name, race, and isolation from the other characters were typical of time and place. When I pointed out to the parent that Steinbeck endowed Crooks with the ability to read and his love of books, and that his observations were the ones that considered the dreams of George & Lennie as simultaneously preposterous, but hopeful, the parent relented and re-considered the power of this character, despite his suffering and the pathetic times in which he lived.
Last year I visited a park in Prague of collected Soviet icons. The Czechs did not destroy these icons when the Soviet Union fell; they brought them together as a reminder to people of the artistic and bloated attempts by Soviet-era propagandists to market totalitarianism. Good lessons to keep alive.